We all ponder various things throughout the day. I thought about trying to add them up, but quickly realized it just wasn’t possible. I have a hunch we’ve all been pondering the unimaginable situation that unfolded in our nation’s capital this past week.
I think we’ve all been in various stages of shock, outrage, sadness and just generally perplexed as we look around at our country. I’ve pondered much, and I’m not yet sure how to adjust to this new era in our country where so many citizens are OK with autocracy, idolatry, hatred, and such general disdain for neighbors and friends. My recent ponderings include:
• How is it possible to see the Confederate flag proudly paraded through the halls of the building that is the cornerstone of this experiment in a constitutional democratic republic (yes, we are all three). In addition, the United States flag was lowered, thrown to the ground and a campaign flag for one individual was raised in its place.
It’s hard to wrap my mind around this, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get that image out of my head. Many are putting one individual above everything we have supposedly stood for as a country. I wonder how those people who participated in both flag desecrations would feel if the flags of Iran or Russia were paraded in the Capitol? Their actions are no less egregious.
• I don’t envy teachers who now need to explain to students that we witnessed behavior we have only read about in history books – incitement, sedition, insurrection, treason. Those words, and actions, matter.
• I’m the first to admit I’m not up to snuff on all the various groups that run the gamut of the political spectrum. I know some in power seem to dislike something they call Antifa.
I do know the name is shorthand for “anti-fascist.” I don’t know if this is a cohesive group, ideology or combination of both, but my pondering asks, When did it become a negative to stand for anti-fascist beliefs? Did WWII not happen? When did it become in vogue to be “Profa” (pro-fascist)? Is there a group called Profa, or do the white nationalists, Ku Klux Klan, Proud Boys, local militias all cover that in their manifestos?
• Who was the hangman’s noose for?
• I thought back to history classes where we were taught how fragile this government experiment is and was intended to be by those who set America on this path. The actual documents articulating this are few and short-winded. They realized for this type of self-governing to work, it required a trust and unwritten social contract between individuals if it were to succeed. If we are to succeed in any form the founders envisioned, we must find a way to stop having alternative facts and truths.
If we can’t agree on what is fact/fiction, truth/lies, real/imagined, then we truly are seeing the demise of this experiment in self-governing.
I’m hoping we can re-establish good faith debates on how to solve accepted challenges, rather than declaring war about whether or not the challenges exist. We have much to ponder. We have much to decide.